August 28, 2015 – Picture: USAID Building $5 Million Drug Production Warehouse In Lagos Nigeria
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), are building a modern pharmaceutical warehouse in Lagos, with an innovative technology called a ‘warehouse-in-a-box’.
USAID’s Country Director Mr Mike Harvey said the project, which costs N1 billion ($5 million), would double the storage capacity of the existing warehouse and make it easier for the Federal Ministry of Health to buy, store, track and distribute drugs to health care centres.
He spoke at the warehouse’s ground breaking at the Federal Medical Store in Lagos.
Harvey said over 7,000 health facilities across Nigeria would receive commodities from the two new warehouses.
Besides, the warehouses would also reduce the cost and time of transporting live-saving medicines and equipment to all parts of the country.
He said: “Building this warehouse in Lagos aligns with one of the six central technical components of the Federal Government’s ‘Saving One Million Lives Initiative’.
Harvey said the U.S. government provided N800 million ($4million) while GFATM contributed N200 million ($1million), adding that Nigeria provided the land.
The U.S. government, Harvey said, was trying to ensure that expectant mothers access drug at health clinics.
Acting U.S. Consul-General in Nigeria Dehab Ghebreab said the facility would be part of a network of warehouses the U.S. government was supporting through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Lagos.
She said a similar project was inaugurated in Abuja in February.
“Our investment here will help ensure that Nigeria has the warehouse infrastructure that meets international standard to efficiently store medicines and other pharmaceutical products to provide good health care and save lives.
“As a mother, I understand and appreciate the importance of accessing quality medicine. If my child gets ill at night or in school, I want my child to be seen immediately by a health practitioner or a doctor at a health facility and be given medicine needed to cure him. I am sure every parent wants that.
“I also want to know that my neighbour, who is in labour, gets drugs that prevent post-partum haemorrhage (blood loss after child-bearing); that her newborn baby will be protected from cord infection. Additionally, I want to know that the young family across the street has bed-nets they need to prevent malaria,” she said.
She said the inauguration of the facility would save many lives, adding that good national health was the foundation that accelerates national development.
Mrs. Ghebreab said many clinics experience shortages.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Linus Awute, said storage of medicines had been a challenge for the country.
According to him, medicines and other health commodities were special items that require appropriate storage conditions.
He said the stores in Lagos serve as the only central storage hub for health products procured by the ministry, local and international agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in partnership with the ministry.